Guided tour of the highlights in Sarlat old town

Photo of Sarlat photos

Sarlat is without doubt one of the highlights to any trip to the Dordogne. Here is a photo tour of some of its highlights.

Beautiful main square of Sarlat

Its main square, the Place de la Liberation,  is surrounded on all sides by beautiful buildings built of a mellow, golden stone with grey slate roofs. From here you get a glimpse of the cathedral tower soaring above the town.

Sarlat Cathedral

The cathedral of Saint Sacerdos has some lovely details including its square stone tower and the attached stone balcony. The cathedral started life as a 12th century abbey and has gradually been added to and transformed and is now a mix of architectural styles.

Walk behind the cathedral to see the Jardin des Enfeus which is the original abbey cemetary and contains some sarcophagus and 'enfeus'. Enfeus are tombs built into the wall and are quite unusual.


A steep path to the side of the cathedral leads you up to the 'Lanterne des Morts', an unusual bullet-shaped building that has had various different roles including that of a funeral chapel.

Lanterne des Morts, Sarlat

The cathedral is on the Place du Peyrou as is the wonderful Hotel de la Boétie. This is the birthplace of French philosopher Etienne de la Boetie. The house was built by his father in 1525 and is built in Italian Renaissance style and has wonderful, ornate, mullioned windows.

Hotel de Boetie, Sarlat

Head back to the Place de la Liberté and walk up the Rue des Consuls. This is one of the best streets in Sarlat and has many historic buildings along its length.

One of the key buildings is the Manoir de Gisson which dates back to the 13th century. It is open for visits and gives you a glimpse of life for the Sarlat nobility in centuries gone by. The furniture ranges from the Middle Ages to the 17th century. There is also a wonderful room of "curios" collected by early explorers.

Manoir de Gisson

From the little terrace of the Manoir de Gissom you get some splendid views of the 14th century Hôtel de Plamon opposite, with its beautiful arched windows. Also the building next to the Manoir with its interesting double turret.

Hotel de Plamon

Another building worth a particular mention is the Hotel de Vienne, also called the Hotel de Maleville, which has a wonderful stone spiral staircase housed in its central tower. There is an art gallery at the top of the building so you can go in and explore the interior.

Hotel de Vienne, Sarlat

In Sarlat there are beautiful buildings and interesting architectural features around every corner.

Stone doorway

To get a different view of Sarlat you can now go up in the "Ascenceur Panoramique", which is a glass lift which goes up through the roof of the tower of the church of Saint Marie giving you breathtaking views over the town. You need to book your ride in the lift at the tourist office near to the cathedral.

panoramic lift, Sarlat

Back down on the ground the inside of the church has been renovated by the architect Jean Nouvel and is home to Sarlat's wonderful indoor market. If you are looking for treats for yourself or gifts for friends - look no further. One of our favourites is the delicious stand of home-made macaroons and nougat.